The holiday season is drawing near, which means family and friends congregating around your table and (hopefully) helping out in the kitchen. Making sure your home is a comfortable place to be is the responsibility of the host, and in addition to providing a welcoming atmosphere, ensuring a healthy breathable environment is just as important. What lies beyond the smell of roasting turkey and homemade pumpkin pies?
Many people have sensitivities to particles in the air, so why not prep your home to welcome everyone? This new take on holiday kitchen safety has an emphasis on indoor air quality instead of knife handling. From proper ventilation to switching from paraffin to soy candles, safety in the kitchen goes well beyond food safety…
Ventilate Your Home
Carbon monoxide leaks out every time you turn on your stove top and oven, so make sure there is proper ventilation in your kitchen. Cracking a window while you cook and bake or turning on the exhaust fan above your stove is a good idea to get the oxygen flowing.
Avoid Burning Candles Made from Paraffin
Ever notice the remnants of black soot around a freshly burnt candle or see a bit of black smoke coming from the flame? That’s paraffin. Distilled from petroleum products, paraffin is used in many types of scented candles. Some sources strongly suggest that burning paraffin and lead-wick candles can have a negative impact on your health and recommend switching to beeswax or soy candles which help preserve safe and healthy indoor air you breathe.
Ditch the Chemicals in Household Cleaners
Everybody loves a clean kitchen. However, using harsh chemicals in your home means a clean kitchen at the expense of your upper respiratory system. Over extended periods of exposure to some of the chemicals found in household cleaners and using these products in an unventilated room can trigger upper respiratory problems. Instead, opt for non-toxic products or these try these homemade alternatives.
Clean Out Your Pantry and Refrigerator Once a Month.
Take an inventory of what you have “in stock” in your pantry and fridge to eliminate old produce and other perishable goods. Safe food handling is very important as 2 types of bacteria can run rampant in your kitchen: spoilage bacteria and pathogenic bacteria. Foodborne illnesses cause people to become sick when food is not properly handled and stored. The combination of off-colored smells and the potential to become ill is not the best presentation of indoor air quality in your kitchen.
While staying true to your own personal taste and display of ambiance in your home is important, making sure the products you use and the air quality of your environment ranks right up there with providing nutritional meals for family and guests. By making small changes to your normal cleanup and kitchen maintenance routine, you can easily transition to enjoying optimal indoor air year-round.